Haircare brands may be investing in the wrong partnerships, research suggests, as an analysis of search behaviour indicates some obvious candidates result in a decline in category searches.

Captify, the search intelligence specialist, and Publicis Media partnered to carry out a 12-month analysis of Captify’s billions of monthly on-site searches. Including 491 million consumer haircare searches, spanning all demographics and locations, to uncover trends.

The subsequent report, Coming Clean, revealed that, despite haircare brands investing in sponsorship of popular calendar events, big moments such as London Fashion Week and festivals actually resulted in a decrease in haircare searches.

Film/music events and seasonal changes, on the other hand, were shown to be the driving force for consumer interest around haircare; the 2018 Oscars, for example, sparked a dramatic 214.3% increase in searches.

The report revealed another possibly unexpected fact: amongst the leading platforms that consumers are using to search for beauty products, desktop was the highest with 54.9% of haircare searches.

“Brands must adapt a truly always-on strategy to be able to leverage each platform on the most effective days for engagement,” Captify said.

Search patterns also showed that hair care is in line with some wider beauty category trends, in terms of the rise of disruptor brands and the role of influencers.

Watermans, a hair growth shampoo, for example, had the highest volume of searches across 100 global haircare brands with 8.6% share of search, beating legacy brands and household names, including Pantene and Garnier.

Influencer searches, meanwhile, increased 55.3% year-on-year. And when Captify dug deeper into the true authenticity of influencers for brands, it found that 54% of haircare searches around influencers in 2018 were associated with Jen Atkin, a celebrity hairstylist and owner of cult haircare brand, Ouai.

“The traditional FMCG model has changed dramatically, brands are now faced with increasing pressure as media channels evolve and consumer behaviour changes”, said Heather Dansie, Insights Director, Publicis Media UK.

“We’re in an era where power has shifted, brands must stay relevant and fully connect with consumers through all parts of the consumer journey. The real-time insights presented by Captify allow us to continue to use data in new and innovative ways, powering the future marketing and communications strategy of our global clients.”

Sourced from Captify; additional content by WARC staff